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1968 Election

When public opinion of the Vietnam War soured it left the democrats on shaky ground politically, and was shaken even further when Lyndon B. Johnson chose not to run for re-election. When vice president Hubert Humphrey was chosen as the democratic nominee it did little to distance the party from the war. The republicans chose Richard Nixon, whose campaign showed he had learned his lesson from 1960.

Nixon’s ads touched on issues like Vietnam, as well as the riots that erupted during the Democratic National Convention, and did so effectively.

Nixon attack ad ’68

Nixon campaign ad attacking Democratic nominee Hubert Humphrey.

1968 Nixon Campaign Commercial – Vietnam War

In the 1968 presidential campaign, Nixon played on American’s fears of change, unrest, and war. This Vietnam War ad is a perfect example of the tone of his 1968 campaign. “This time vote like your whole world depended on it.”

The Humphrey campaign used similar tactics against Nixon that had been used by Kennedy, but unlike 1960 the results were overwhelmingly in Nixon’s favor.

Hubert Humphrey 1968 Political TV ad

What has Richard Nixon ever done for you?

Humphrey laughing at Spiro Agnew 1968 political ad

Hubert Horatio Humphrey, Jr. (May 27, 1911 — January 13, 1978), served under President Lyndon B. Johnson as the 38th Vice President of the United States.
Humphrey twice served as a United States Senator from Minnesota, and served as Democratic Majority Whip. He was a founder of the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party and Americans for Democratic Action. He also served as Mayor of Minneapolis, Minnesota from 1945 to 1949. Humphrey was the nominee of the Democratic Party in the 1968 presidential election but lost to the Republican nominee, Richard Nixon.

George Wallace – American Independent Candidate

George WallaceUnlike most modern elections an independent candidate had a significant impact on the election. As democrats began to embrace civil rights as a fundamental issue for the democrats it began to splinter southern politicians from the party. Former Alabama governor George Wallace ran for the democratic nomination in 1964; and four years later he ran as an independent candidate, winning several southern states.

George Wallace ’68 Presidential TV Ad

The only remotely interesting thing about this spot is that the Key Bridge might be in it. What do you think?

Resources:

1968 Presidential Election

Television and Presidential Elections

The Alabama Project | lisaleaks

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